Council tax rise to save services

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:01 24 January 2013

(c) Adam Gault

WESTON Town Council’s council tax price will rise to meet the cost of saving services across the town.

The authority agreed its budget for 2013/14 on Monday, but the 9.9 per cent tax rise for band D households is lower than had previously been anticipated.

With North Somerset Council battling to cut costs, the town council has agreed to take on services including 10 play areas, five public toilets and the provision of flowers in the resort, which would otherwise be cut.

The budget for the next year has been agreed at £1.488million after further savings were identified from the figure of £1.524million discussed by the town council last week.

And while town council officers had originally thought the band D rise would be between 10-12 per cent, it will now rise by 9.9 per cent from £50.75 to £55.77.

The town council’s new leader, Peter Crew, was sworn in at Monday’s meeting.

Speaking about the budget, he said: “I’m one of those councillors who has always been against raising taxes, but I think this year we have realised that the things which North Somerset has constraints on are things that I think are important to the town, so we have taken them on board and we’ve tried to boost tourism.

“We could have said we didn’t want to take on these things which we weren’t responsible for, but I think for the benefit of the people in the town it made sense to.”

Saying the tax rise could reap ‘long-term benefits’ for services in the town, he added: “I’m pleased that when we decided it with the other political groups at the council there was a broad consensus about the things we wanted to do and the things we needed to do.”

Cllr Crew has replaced Keith Morris as leader of the council, and Michal Kus has been appointed as his deputy.

Cllr Morris stood down ahead of becoming town mayor in May.

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